How to Change a Flat Tire

A flat tire always happens at the least convenient time. You’re on your way to work or your kids have a recital you promised you’d be at, or you’re on your way to dinner with an old friend. The last thing you have time for is a call to Roadside Assistance, no matter how speedy they may be. Your spare tire needs to be installed, and now. But do you have the knowledge to do it yourself?

It’s okay. Take a deep breath. It’s easier than you think. Here’s how to change a flat tire, courtesy of your Southern California Ford Dealers.

What You’ll Need

Everything you need to perform your very own tire change service comes with your Ford vehicle when you purchase it. Items you’ll require include:

· A vehicle jack to lift the wheel off the ground.

· The lug nut wrench to loosen and tighten – you guessed it – the lug nuts.

· Your owner’s manual for instructions.

· Your spare tire.

· The wheel lock key, if equipped.

Take what you need out of your vehicle for easy access. Next, you’re ready to get started.

How to Change a Tire

Step 1: Secure Your Vehicle

It would be very dangerous if your car started to roll while you were changing your tire. Whenever possible, park on a flat, even surface to change a tire. Engage the parking brake and place a wheel chock behind at least one of the fully inflated tires.

Step 2: Loosen the Lug Nuts

Before you lift the wheel off the ground, it’s a good plan to crack the lug nuts loose. They can be very tight. Don’t remove them completely quite yet – just get them turned a quarter turn or so.

If you have wheel locks, fit the wheel lock key over the one lug nut that looks funny. Then, you can loosen it with the lug nut wrench like the others.

Step 3: Lift the Wheel Off the Ground

Check your owner’s manual for proper jack placement on your vehicle. Once you have your jack in place, crank it up until the wheel lifts off the ground. You’ll need to bring it high enough that a fully inflated tire will be able to fit onto your car.

Step 4: Take the Wheel Off

Now’s the time to take your flat tire all the way off. Use the lug nut wrench or, if you’ve loosened the lug nuts enough, you may be able to spin them off by hand. Put the flat tire in the back of your car so you can bring it to your local Ford car care center to fix it.

Step 5: Install the Spare Tire

Slide the spare tire into place on the wheel studs. If you have a compact spare, you’ll know you have it on the right way if the valve stem is facing out. Install the lug nuts by hand until they are snug. It doesn’t hurt to tighten them with the wrench now also.

Step 6: Lower Your Car

With the spare tire in place, slowly lower the jack and remove it from under your car. But you’re not done quite yet – you still need to finish tightening the lug nuts. Crank the lug nuts down as tight as you can with the lug nut wrench in a star pattern.

Congrats! You’ve done it. Just don’t forget to remove the wheel chocks and release the parking brake.

Get Your Tire Fixed

Now that you’ve changed a flat tire, you’ll need to get it fixed and re-installed. Your Southern California Ford Dealers can perform all your routine car maintenance, and that includes tire repairs. Whether you need a tire patch or a new set of four for your Ford SUV, car, or truck, check online for service coupons to get you rolling once again.